Our Opinion: List should be used as a source to better image

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 27, 2008

Some Demopolis residents were upset when The Times published a list of dilapidated properties in the city. The paper, using a Freedom of Information request and information gathered from an anonymous source, published the names and addresses on the list.

But we must say this: The Times didn&8217;t publish the list to be controversial or to air anyone&8217;s &8220;dirty laundry.&8221; Instead, we felt the publication of the dilapidated houses list was very much in the public interest. Several of those properties have ongoing issues stemming back to 2006. One even goes back farther, to 2005.

While one may look at the decision to publish the names and addresses as a bad thing, the newspaper believes publishing this list &8212; and updating readers as to the progress made in the future &8212; is a good thing.

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The detailed list shows that many residents are making progress to get their properties up to city code. It also shows that the city is doing due diligence in monitoring progress on those properties monthly.

But the city must also use the list well. There are some property owners on the list who are past due for action by the city &8212; and we hope the city continues to move forward on getting these properties back up to code.